How to bake muffins with a toddler in 19 easy steps

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Einstein could have been talking about almost any aspect of parenting. In my home, insanity is cooking with a toddler and expecting less washing up.

1. Place baby down for a nap. Decide to bake muffins to entertain toddler and provide afternoon tea. Begin clearing kitchen before informing toddler of your plans. Get ingredients out as you go (get as far as baking powder).

2. Suddenly hear “what are doing, mummy?” from entrance to kitchen. Realise the game is up. Tell toddler to go and get his step. Check all sharp and poisonous items are out of reach.

3. Bring toddler into kitchen. Wash hands and don child-size apron (thanks Grandma). Put toddler on step in front of clear area of bench and preheat oven. Continue collecting ingredients.

4. Hear toddler say “my mix it!” Turn to discover he has upended a full bottle of salad dressing (not an ingredient for the muffins – it was left out after lunch) over the cardboard container of baking powder. Quickly tip excess into an empty sippy cup and hope it doesn’t soak through.

5. Begin following recipe by mashing two bananas. Collect third banana after toddler eats second one.

6. Weigh frozen raspberries and set aside to defrost.

7. Ignore the fact that you have no muffin cases.

8. Assist toddler to break eggs into bowl.

9. Remove entire eggshell from bowl and scoop egg off counter. Throw paper towel on floor to mop up excess egg white.

10. Beat eggs and sugar together, keeping a close eye on all toddler digits.

11. Recipe calls for sifted flour. Realise you used the sifter to strain chickpeas at lunch and sits unwashed in the sink.

12. Briefly consider the wisdom of filling the sink with hot soapy water while the toddler is in the kitchen.

13. Decide sifting is for the weak and lumpy muffins are character building. Add flour and baking powder.

14. Stir in banana and raspberries. Realise there are less raspberries before. Suspect your crimson-lipped assistant is the culprit.

15. Hear baby start to cry. Rapidly spoon mix into pan and place in oven.

16. Feed baby as muffins cook.

17. Allow to cool. Ignore washing up.

18. Offer one to excited toddler.

19. Sigh as it is returned pre-chewed to your hand.

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